US Trade Deficit Hits 5 Year Low, USD/CAD Soars

The US trade deficit narrowed materially in the month of November to the smallest since June 2003. Although the narrower trade deficit is normally something to cheer about, the details of the report indicate that the only reasons why trade improved was because of the fall in oil prices and slower domestic demand. The big story is in imports, which plunged 12 percent in November. Unfortunately the strength of the dollar did not drive stronger US demand for foreign goods but it did cut exports by 5.8 percent. The US dollar strengthened following the report but the gains may be limited because the report reflects the weakness rather than strength of the US economy.

Meanwhile Canada is at the brink of turning a deficit for the first time in 10 years. Their trade surplus shrank to 1.3B in November, the smallest since October 1997. The toxic combination of falling oil prices and weaker US demand for vehicles has caused exports to drop 6.8 percent the fourth consecutive month.

Unsurprisingly, USD/CAD has soared the following the better trade report from the US and weaker report from Canada. Expect the currency pair to hit 1.2375 as long as it holds above the 1.2150, today’s low.

About Kathy Lien 236 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of DailyFX.com, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Investopedia.com Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for Tradingmarkets.com, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

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